Thursday, 14 December 2017

Winter Ghosts - just beyond the veil.

The winter months are  a reflective time for me - tinged with sadness. The long dark nights make me want to snuggle down early with a good book.  Too much time sitting alone at night allows me to dwell and get down. Keeping busy at home helps.  The ghosts that haunt me, although kindly, make my heart sad.  They haunt my home.  I miss them.

I miss Dad.  His birthday was 13th December - so this month was always a celebration when he was alive. I remember the care he took with decorating the pubs he ran.  At The Everest, he made Santas on sleighs to fly among the climbing gear and mountains on the walls.  There was always a huge welcoming Christmas tree at The Eagle & Child and the restaurant would be filled with people on works Christmas parties, enjoying the seasonal cheer. My father was a generous man. Giving brought him (and us) such joy.

My Godmother Mavis died on 19th December. She had sent a beautiful Christmas card with a tiny angel made from wine and feathers on the front. That night it fluttered to the ground.  As I picked it up, I actually asked it what it was trying to tell me. Her death was unexpected.  Her gifts to us were under my tree until I took it down. They were always so beautifully wrapped, with bows and bells. The contents were secondary to the care and attention she gave to the excitement of the parcel. I bought a pair of black dressy shoes with the money that she had slipped into the box of Swiss chocolates.  The shoes are past their prime but I still wear them.  I can't bear to part with them.  Every year, when I decorate my tree, I get out the box of baubles and there is her angel. My Winter Ghost.

There was Dad's friend Kenny.  So full of fun.  He always called to see us at Christmas. Gone now. 

My Grandmother Phyllis, who hid all her Christmas gifts under her bed. We always found them.

There are my own traditions. Rituals played out each year. Home made soup, mulled wine and Christmas strudel on Christmas Eve after church. Eggs benedict for breakfast.  Mum watching the Queen's speech before we eat lunch. My only wish for Christmas is that I can share it with her at least one more time before she too becomes a Winter Ghost.

When you love someone deeply - they never leave you. They are as much a part of you as the next generation. When they pass - love stays and keeps you strong until another Spring. We miss them but they have passed on the baton: We have no choice but to live up to their expectations of us. 

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion. 

Dylan Thomas.

Thanks for reading.  Adele                        


Lady Curt said...

I've just written in a similar vein...for tomorrow..

Adele said...

We are kindred spirits Kath.

Steve Rowland said...

"We all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun..."